2007 Audi Q7 Receives Five-Star Crash Test Ratings from NHTSA

The National Highway and Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) this week gave the 2007 Audi Q7 their highest-possible ratings for front and side crash protection. The Audi Q7 received five-star ratings for driver and passenger protection in frontal crash tests, and five-star ratings for front and rear passenger protection in side impact crash tests. The Audi Q7 also received a roll-over rating of four- stars.

"Time and time again, Audi has demonstrated a strong commitment to safety," said Johan de Nysschen, Executive Vice President of Audi of America, Inc. "We knew the Audi Q7 would be one of the safest SUVs available when we were developing it, and these test results confirm our position."

The 2007 Audi Q7 comes standard with the latest safety features such as quattro(R) all-wheel drive, dual-front and front-side airbags, Sideguard(TM) head curtain air bags that protect all three rows of passengers, pre- tensioning three-point seatbelts for all passengers, LATCH child-seat anchoring system, ABS, and Electronic Stabilization Program with roll-over detection. Audi Side Assist, which warns the driver of vehicles in their blind spot at speeds over 30 mph, and rear-side airbags for the second row are optional safety features. The 2007 Audi Q7 3.6 has a price of $39,900 before destination.

Toyota's Camry Hybrid Rolls off the Assembly Line in Georgetown

Toyota Motor Manufacturing, Kentucky, Inc. (TMMK) celebrated the production launch of the Camry Hybrid today -- Toyota''s first hybrid vehicle produced in North America.

The addition of hybrid production represents a $10 million investment at TMMK, which will build approximately 48,000 Camry Hybrid vehicles per year.

TMMK was established in 1986 and is Toyota''s largest plant in North America. It employs approximately 7,000 team members and currently builds the Camry, Avalon and Solara. The plant has the capacity to build 500,000 vehicles annually. Since its inception, TMMK has built about 6.7 million vehicles, and the plant''s current investment is $5.4 billion.

"We are proud, excited and honored to be Toyota''s first plant in North America to build a hybrid
vehicle," said Steve St. Angelo, President of TMMK. "It''s a great tribute to the tremendous ability and skill level of all of our team members, who have been building the Camry, America''s number one selling sedan."

"America''s hybrid leader now sells a Camry hybrid made in America," said Don Esmond, Toyota Motor Sales senior vice president, Automotive Operations. "Production at the new Kentucky plant marks an exciting chapter in Toyota''s history and a monumental step toward our ongoing commitment to hybrid technology."

The Toyota Hybrid Synergy Drive System consists of gas and electric power sources that are complementary and produce a combined 187 horsepower. This system varies power between gas and electric, or both, as needed. The first- half of the system consists of a 2.4 liter four cylinder engine, assembled at TMMK''s Power Train plant. The Atkinson-cycle engine generates 147 hp and is coupled to a continuously variable transmission. The second half of the Hybrid Synergy Drive equation consists of a small, high torque electric motor that produces 141 horsepower, an ultra-small inverter with a specially designed compact battery and a transaxle to provide the economy and seamless performance hybrid drivers seek.

The Camry Hybrid joins a growing Toyota and Lexus hybrid lineup in the U.S., which currently includes the groundbreaking Toyota Prius, Lexus RX 400h luxury hybrid sport utility vehicle (SUV), Toyota Highlander Hybrid mid-size SUV, and the 2007 Lexus GS 450h hybrid luxury sedan. In 2007, Lexus will be adding the LS 600h to the hybrid lineup. Since Toyota began selling hybrid vehicles in North America in 2000, the company has sold approximately 420,000 hybrid vehicles here. In 1997, Toyota became a pioneer in the industry by launching the Prius, a mass-production hybrid vehicle with outstanding environmental performance. Toyota has positioned hybrid systems as a key technology for the twenty-first century and is taking measures to promote the widespread use of hybrid vehicles.

Bang & Olufsen Incorporates Cutting Edge Sound System into the New Audi R8

Bang & Olufsen, the world wide provider of exclusive, high quality audio and video products, proudly introduces its second custom-made audio system for Audi Corporation, in its special debut of the new Audi R8 sports car.

Since 2005, when Bang & Olufsen introduced its first Advanced Sound System customized for the Audi A8 and S8, it has been receiving worldwide industry accolades and recognition for its dynamic listening experience. For example, it was voted ''best sound system'' by a jury of 69 automotive journalists at the Auto Interiors Show in Detroit surrounding the 2006 Detroit Auto Show. Now, Bang & Olufsen has developed yet another exclusive audio system for the brand new sports car, Audi R8.

The joint vision of Audi and Bang & Olufsen, is to give the market the best sound system for the ultimate sports cars. Audi delivers the sports car, and Bang & Olufsen delivers the sound system. The result was presented at the giant motor show 2006 Paris Mondial de l''automobile beginning September 28 until October 15. Its North America debut will be held at the Audi Forum opening on Wednesday, October 11.

The Bang & Olufsen Sound System has been developed, designed and crafted especially for the Audi R8, and that goes for both the visual experience and the sound performance. The Bang & Olufsen Sound System for R8 has 12 loudspeakers driven by 10 discrete channels of amplification and digital signal processing, producing a total amplifier power of 465 watts. And of course the technology is supported by a unique visual design featuring machined and anodized aluminium details -- enhancing the attractive interior of the R8.

Key words for the Audi R8 are fascinating design, outstanding sportiness and unrestricted driving enjoyment. Consequently, the Bang & Olufsen Sound System is designed so that engine noise is compensated for, but not eliminated by the music. This is the case especially during acceleration to ensure that driver and passenger achieve the best possible driving experience.

At the same time, Bang & Olufsen guarantees an outstanding sound experience.

"We are very happy about expanding the cooperation with Audi. And we are really excited to present a Bang & Olufsen Sound System tailor-made for such a fantastic car as the Audi R8. Today, you can buy very exclusive sports cars with sound systems that don''t reflect the same value. We believe, however, that those interested in high-end sports cars deserve a good sound system in their cars as well. With this new sound system we introduce a new variant of our automotive sound systems and demonstrate our ability to tailor-make Bang & Olufsen systems for different types of cars," says Jens Peter Zinck, Managing Director, Bang & Olufsen Automotive.

Toyota Launches Completely Redesigned Corolla Sedan

Toyota Motor Corporation (TMC) announced today the Japan sales launch of the completely redesigned Corolla sedan—now known as the Corolla Axio*—and completely redesigned Corolla Fielder small station wagon through "Toyota Corolla" dealers nationwide.

Since its debut in 1966, the Corolla, through an automobile production approach that has anticipated the demands of the
times, has gained the favor of millions of users, playing a key role in driving motorization forward. The Corolla is currently sold in more than 140 countries and regions, and cumulative sales have exceeded 30 million vehicles, making it a best-selling vehicle positioned to lead the 21st century.

The new Corolla Axio, as the 10th generation Corolla sedan, and the redesigned Corolla Fielder were developed with "car-making by a new measure" as their basic theme. Toyota focused on enhancing basic performance and deepening the sense of quality, which is the essence of the Corolla, by responding to customer needs without being trapped by existing notions of what constitutes a compact vehicle.

Some specific examples of the active adoption of features from the customer''s perspective are improved driving-support functions, such as the rearview monitor that is standard on all Corolla Axio models and the convenience-enhancing one-touch double-folding rear seats that are standard on all Corolla Fielder models.

In addition, a new standard for compact sedans and for station wagons is created through a newly developed 1.8-liter engine and Super CVT-i (Super Continuously Variable Transmission-intelligent) transmission that provide outstanding cruising and environmental performance, as well as through the adoption of innovative and advanced equipment not previously seen on compact vehicles, such as a Pre-crash Safety System using millimeter-wave radar and an Intelligent Parking Assist system.

Volvo Announces Pricing of All New S80

Volvo Cars of North America, LLC (VCNA) announces pricing of the all new 2007 Volvo S80 sedan.

"The all new Volvo S80 is very aggressively priced in its segment while offering the latest in terms of safety, technology, design and performance," says Anne Belec, president and CEO, Volvo Cars of North America. "This all new car represents Volvo''s on-going commitment to offering outstanding value in the premium segment."

The all new S80, Volvo''s flagship sedan, enters the very competitive North American marketplace with elegant styling, two highly sophisticated new engine choices, a long list of breakthrough
safety technologies and a premium driving experience -- all packaged in an aura of ''Scandinavian luxury.''

The all new Volvo S80 will be the first Volvo sedan with a V8 engine, as well as the first sedan with the highly sophisticated new Volvo in-line 6-cylinder engine. Both are mated to a 6-speed automatic transmission with Geartronic sequential shifting. All Volvo S80 V8s with be equipped with the electronically controlled Volvo All-Wheel-Drive feature, while the I6 S80 will be front-wheel drive.

The highly refined ride and handling of the all new Volvo S80 can be attributed to an extremely rigid chassis structure. Performance and the drive experience are enhanced by the available Four C active suspension, adjustable steering force levels, and a host of measures that help keep noise, vibration, harshness and road irregularities from intruding into the luxurious interior.

The first generation Volvo S80, the first car to achieve 5-star crash test ratings for all tests in the United States, pioneered such safety innovations as the Inflatable Curtain (IC) and Whiplash Protection System (WHIPS) seating. The next generation S80 again raises the bar in safety.

Innovations in passive safety include a new side airbag with dual chamber construction for enhanced hip and chest protection, clever structural design that uses four different grades of steel for predictable crash energy absorption, the next generation of WHIPS rear impact protection and new approaches to pedestrian safety.

An Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC) system with Collision Warning and Brake Support is one of many highly advanced systems available on the all new Volvo S80. Blind Spot Information System (BLIS) and the Personal Car Communicator (PCC), the world''s first remote car monitor, and swiveling bi-Xenon headlights are additional comfort and convenience features available.

For the more demanding customers, there is a comprehensive list of additional features available: A Sports Package, which includes 18" wheels, ventilated seats and more; An Audio Package, with an impressive 5x130W, 12-speaker Dynaudio system; A Climate Package, with heated seats and other features to help adapt to inclement conditions.

"The all new S80 will further enhance Volvo''s position in the luxury segment, by integrating technology and design into a car that is inviting, intelligent and, accessible," says Belec.

Approximately 45 percent of production for Volvo''s "Scandinavian Luxury" will target the United States and Canada.

Mitsubishi Announces Pricing for All-New 2007 Outlander

Mitsubishi Motors North America, Inc. (MMNA) has announced pricing for its all-new, second-generation Outlander compact sport-utility vehicle. The larger, more powerful 2007 Outlander will start at a manufacturer''s suggested retail price (MSRP) of $21,370 for a well- equipped ES front-wheel drive model. Early buyers will receive a Mitsubishi 25th Anniversary discount of $1,380 for a starting MSRP of $19,990.

All 2007 Outlander models are powered exclusively by a new all-aluminum MIVEC V-6 engine teamed to a six-speed Sportronic(R) automatic transmission, achieving 220-hp (Federal emissions.) A segment-first Partial Zero Emissions Vehicle (P-ZEV) V6 engine achieves 213-hp. Each of the three trim lines offered for the 2007 Outlander -- the value-minded ES, the well equipped LS and the sport/luxury XLS -- come standard with front-wheel drive. The LS and XLS models also are available with an electronically controlled 4-wheel drive system. The Outlander
LS model has an MSRP of $22,410 with front-wheel drive and $23,770 with 4-wheel drive. The Outlander XLS, which features standard 18-inch alloy wheels, an underfloor-stowable compact third row Seat and additional amenities, has an MSRP of $23,650 with front-wheel drive and $25,010 with 4-wheel drive.

All Outlander models are equipped as standard with the Active Skid and Traction Control (ASTC) system. Standard safety features for all 2007 Outlander models include an advanced dual front air bag supplemental restraint system (SRS) with occupant sensors; front seat-mounted side-impact air bags and side curtain air bags (front and second row); an anti-lock braking system (ABS) with electronic brake-force distribution (EBD), and a tire pressure monitoring system.

Outlander ES Comes Generously Equipped

A standard 220-hp V-6 engine gives Outlander ES a significant performance advantage over similarly priced four-cylinder compact SUVs while still offering an EPA-rated 27 miles per gallon in highway driving. Standard equipment in Outlander ES includes: air conditioning and cabin air filter; ambient lighting monitor; cruise control; power windows, locks and mirrors; engine immobilizer and anti-theft alarm system; keyless entry, and an AM/FM/CD audio system with MP3 playback capability and six speakers.

Excellent Value at Every Level

The Outlander LS models add a number of exterior and interior enhancements, including: color-keyed folding power side view mirrors; roof rails; rear privacy glass; 16-inch alloy wheels; steering wheel remote audio switches; leather-wrapped steering wheel and shift knob; a driver''s seatback pocket; two additional 12-volt accessory outlets (one in cockpit, one in cargo area); and floor mats. The LS also includes the Bluetooth(R) cell phone-ready pre-wire switch.

Outlander XLS models offer a step up in handling response, user technology and comfort, adding: 18-inch alloy wheels; Sportronic magnesium steering wheel shifter paddles (a segment first); underfloor-stowable compact third row seat; automatic climate control system; hands-free Bluetooth cellular phone interface system with voice recognition; fog lights, and cargo area utility bars. The standard FAST (Freehand Advanced Security Transmitter) Key entry system allows passive vehicle unlocking and engine start/stop simply by carrying the remote control.

Premium Technology Options with Value Pricing

Outlander LS and XLS models offer an optional Navigation Package ($1,800 MSRP) that uses a seven-inch touch screen and hard disc drive with a digital music server. This package includes a versatile drive computer and an interface to customize operation of many vehicle features.

The Entertainment Package available for Outlander LS models ($1,150 MSRP) includes a rear Seat DVD player with nine-inch LCD screen, remote control, wireless headphone, auxiliary video input jack and a 115-volt accessory power outlet.

The Sun & Sound Package ($1,740 MSRP for LS, $1,580 MSRP for XLS) combines a power glass sunroof with sunshade with the 650-watt Rockford-Fosgate(R) Premium Audio system with nine speakers including subwoofer and SIRIUS(R) Satellite Radio with six month pre-paid subscription. Exclusively in the XLS models, the Sun & Sound Package can also be combined with the Luxury Package ($1,600 MSRP) that adds leather seating surfaces (first and second rows), heated front seats, a power driver''s Seat and Xenon HID headlamps with auto- leveling.

Premium Warranty

Mitsubishi cars, sport utility vehicles and pickup trucks are backed by comprehensive new vehicle limited warranties. Mitsubishi cars and sport utility vehicles come with a 10-year/100,000 mile powertrain limited warranty, along with a 5-year/60,000 mile bumper to bumper new vehicle limited warranty. Mitsubishi pickup trucks are covered by a 5-year/60,000 mile bumper to bumper new vehicle limited warranty that also includes powertrain components. All Mitsubishi vehicles have a 7-year /100,000 mile anti-corrosion/perforation limited warranty, along with 5-years/unlimited miles Roadside Assistance, which includes free towing to the nearest authorized Mitsubishi retailer.

Mitsubishi Motors North America, Inc., (MMNA) is responsible for all manufacturing, finance, sales, and marketing operations of the Mitsubishi Motors Corporation in the United States. Mitsubishi Motors sells coupes, convertibles, sedans, a mid-size pickup truck and sport utility vehicles through a network of approximately 540 dealers.

Mitsubishi Motors launches new Pajero

Mitsubishi Motors Corporation (MMC) today announced the Japanese market launch of the fully redesigned Pajero SUV at affiliated dealerships throughout Japan on October 4. The company has sold some 2.5 million Pajeros in over 170 countries and regions since its introduction in 1982. Pajero has established a rock-firm reputation among customers as an all-round sport-utility vehicle that delivers go-anywhere off-road performance with the high-speed cruising performance and comfort of a sedan. Tax inclusive prices for short body models range from 2,415,000 yen to 3,486,000 yen and for long body models from 2,625,000 yen to 4,368,000 yen.

During development the 4th-generation Pajero underwent a full range of testing programs subjecting it to the harshest conditions imaginable. These included simulated compatibility testing at 2,500 m in the European Alps and minus 40-degree temperatures in Northern Europe, as well as actual off-road driving in African desert and Australian outback conditions. Enhancing its off-road capabilities and durability further, the new Pajero also benefits from technologies and know-how fed back from the Dakar Rally, the most grueling endurance rally in the world. The new Pajero retains the all-round independent suspension and Super Select 4WD-II (SS4-II) driveline introduced in the 3rd-generation model to give it unmatched go-anywhere capabilities over all surfaces.

New technologies distinguishing the new model include an upgraded Active Stability & Traction Control (ASTC) system that can accommodate the installation of a new rear differential lock, a weight-reducing aluminum engine hood, and stiffer body joins and use of more plated steel sheet for improved durability and reliability. A new sound system and classy uptown interior also contribute to making the new Pajero a premium-value global-standard all-round SUV.

The new Pajero also brings significant improvements in safety and environmental performance. Dual-stage SRS airbags for driver and front passenger, side-impact and curtain airbags and other new passive safety measures earn the new Pajero the equivalent of a 6-star JNCAP rating in in-house testing. In terms of environmental performance all models achieve 3-star emission ratings with levels that are 50% below the Japanese 2005 Emission Standard requirements.

The new Pajero also meets in advance the standards laid down in JAMA''s Voluntary Vehicle Interior VOC Reduction Initiative for new cars introduced in and after April 2007 and levels of hexavalent chromium, lead, Mercury and other environment-loading substances have also been substantially reduced. The new Pajero boasts significantly better build and finish quality with the introduction of Mitsubishi''s In-stage Quality Creation (ISQC) system on the assembly line.

BMW Group Introducing New Models for China

Introducing new high-class Business Saloons, the BMW Group is enlarging its range of models for the Chinese market. These new models are Long Wheelbase versions of the successful BMW 5 Series specially developed by the German premium carmaker and will be presented for the first time at the international Auto China 2006 Motor Show in Beijing(18 - 27 November, 2006).

The new BMW 530 Li, BMW 525 Li, and BMW 523 Li have been specially developed for the particular demands and
requirements of the Chinese automobile market, combining sporting driving characteristics with superior interior comfort. A stylish ambience inside the car is ensured by high-quality Dakota leather on the seats and door linings. The BMW 525Li and BMW 530Li also come as standard with a newly developed rear console complete with an integrated entertainment system with a DVD-player, eight-inch screens fitted in a console on the back of the front seats, as well as a cooling box.

The most striking feature when looking at the new BMW 5 Series Saloon from outside is no doubt the extension of the car''s wheelbase by 140 millimetres, all of this extra space being provided between the B- and C-pillars. This increase in size benefits the passengers at the rear, with the new, Long Wheelbase BMW 5 Series offering an unprecedented standard of grand touring comfort.
The new models are powered by straight-six power units ranging in output from 130 kW/177 hp to 190 kW/258 hp.

The new BMW 5 Series Long Wheelbase for the Chinese market was developed at BMW''s Development Headquarters in Munich, creating outstanding models specifically tailored in their overall concept to the Chinese market while at the same time fulfilling all of BMW''s demanding standards and requirements. Production of the new Saloons is at the Shenyang Plant in the Provinceof Liaoningin the north-east of China, which also builds the BMW 3 Series for the Chinese market.

The BMW Group has been represented in Chinasince 1994 and has consistently expanded its operation and engagement over the years. In May 2004 the BMW Group and Brilliance China Automotive opened their joint plant in Shenyang, and shortly thereafter BMW established a separate Sales Region for Chinaalso including Hong Kong, Macaoand Taiwan, in order to boost sales to an even higher level.

BMW has achieved enormous growth in the Chinese market in recent years, with sales increasing in the first half of 2006 by approximately 66 per cent to almost 18,000 units, making China BMW''s fastest-growing country in percentage terms.
Chinanow ranks high up as the world''s second most important sales market for the BMW 7 Series.

New Opel Corsa Targets Young Fun Generation

Despite traffic jams, increasing gasoline prices and a lack of parking spaces, a car is still an important part of having fun. This was the opinion expressed by almost 75 percent of the twentysomething urbanites who took Opel’s survey, and was analyzed closely during the new Corsa’s development. With this latest successful model, Opel takes a huge step forward in its drive to rejuvenate the brand, putting the question of what fun means to young people today at the heart of the Corsa''s design.

“Fun is the decisive factor for the twentysomething generation living in cosmopolitan cities,” says
Alain Visser, who developed the brand’s architecture in his role as Executive Director of European Marketing. This statement is confirmed by the representative survey Opel conducted with 1600 twenty to thirty-year-olds in the major cities of eight European countries. As a car is seen as an important part of life, it must fulfill this expectation. The surprising outcome of the survey was that driving is by no means a lonely affair for young people. In fact, a car is more a place for friends to get together. 86 percent said they enjoy going on holiday by car with their friends, while 77 percent highly rate having romantic encounters in a car. For 57 percent of young men, it is a place to exchange affections, whereas 64 percent of women enjoy chatting with their best friend while behind the wheel.

When the car is so integrated into daily life, it is no wonder that three-quarters of those surveyed said the first thing they do in a new car is go for a spin with their friends. And as 44 percent said they would personalize it, the car itself must also reflect customers’ desire for individualization.

With that in mind, new Corsa customers have the possibility to customize their car ex works with individual interior equipment details such as piano lacquer or heated steering wheel, and so put together a completely individual model variant.

Designers also put great emphasis on the feel-good ambience in the interior. The attention to detail is highlighted by the refined backlit turn buttons for the climate control, radio and light, as well as the colorful interior design.

As a leisure and holiday companion, Corsa engineers designed the newcomer with versatile storage and transport possibilities. There is an optional space in the doors for 1.5-liter water bottles, a spacious drawer under the front passenger Seat and Flex-Fix, a pull-out bicycle carrier that is integrated into the rear bumper. Sporty variable direct steering and a dynamic chassis add to driving fun. But top speed was of less interest to a large number of the young people surveyed: 44 percent said that they did not have any fun by driving fast.

When it comes to the point made in the survey by three quarters of the young urbanites − that they would have even more fun if they had more money available − Opel has the answer: new Corsa prices start at 10,990 euros.

Economy test for Cadillac BLS

The Cadillac BLS 1.9 Turbo Diesel made its debut in the 2006 AA / ALD Automotive MPG Marathon on October 4 and 5.

The two Cadillacs taking part achieved overall fuel economy of 55.6 mpg and 52.1 mpg respectively, placing them 2nd and 3rd in class on fuel consumption achieved, over the testing 360-mile route in the West Country.

The MPG Marathon, organised by Stag Publications, was open to entrants driving standard
production cars, LCVs and light trucks.

The route took competitors from Bristol to Newquay and back again, over a variety of roads, primarily main roads and country lanes.

Final results were judged on both the outright fuel consumption achieved, as well as the percentage improvement obtained in relation to the official combined mpg figure.

The 1.9-litre BLS is the first Cadillac available with a turbo diesel engine and has an official fuel consumption of 46.3 mpg on the combined cycle. Prices for the Cadillac BLS range start at £20,728.

Volvo: three C30 concept cars at the 2006 Sema show

Las Vegas is known for being the city full of surprises and risk, but even Sin City will be shocked to see what new tricks Volvo Cars will be unveiling at the 2006 Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA) show. From October 31- November 3 2006, Volvo will showcase three highly modified C30''s built by Evolve, ipd and Heico Sportiv. Each concept car will be given a sleek makeover focusing on a variety of custom fabrications such as race inspired engine enhancements, powerhouse audio-visual systems and eye-popping modifications to push the envelope of Volvo''s C30. Volvo''s history dates back four years with the annual automotive aftermarket tradeshow and it remains the only factory backed European premium manufacturer to display cars on a regular basis.

Additional information about each of the companies partnering with Volvo, along with a brief
description of these one-off concept cars follows:


EVOLVE and Volvo has partnered to create several show cars over the years. EVOLVE uses these unique show creations to establish new styling and performance trends and give automotive enthusiasts a different view of Volvo. Many of the products developed for the show vehicles are soon brought to market to satisfy the desires of Volvo owners worldwide. This year, EVOLVE is focusing its talents on the all-new Volvo C30. While details will be held for the unveiling at SEMA, it can be disclosed that it will have a strong emphasis on cutting edge design and motorsports technology. Stunning aesthetics will combine with staggering performance capabilities for the ultimate Volvo attention getter. What would happen if a Formula One car and Volvo C30 were put in a blender? Learn more at this year''s SEMA show.

EVOLVE originated with one goal in mind: To transform new Volvos into high-performance, unique vehicles while retaining their extraordinary standard for safety. EVOLVE utilizes the finest materials and latest technologies to bring Volvo enthusiasts the performance, distinction, and comfort they desire in their vehicle. Please refer to www.evolvecars.com for more information.


HEICO’s concept for this year’s SEMA Show is a versatile, sporty interpretation of the C30. Built for the outdoor enthusiast, with European styling, handling, and power, but retaining solid functionality in the snow and rain. HEICO is pleased to be partnering with the leader in outdoor sport on this project, Burlington Vermont-based Burton Snowboards. Active enthusiasts expect flexibility as well as performance, and the HEICO C30 features all-wheel drive, making it the perfect performer on the street and on the mountain. At home on the switchbacks or on the slopes, the HEICO C30 concept is part Paris-Dakar raider, part efficient weekend gear hauler, and part stylish, sporty performer.

HEICO SPORTIV was founded outside of Frankfurt, Germany in 1995, and has grown to become Europe’s leading Volvo tuning firm. HEICO has the longest running history of endurance racing featuring Volvo cars (12 years), which serves as the engineering basis for offering high-quality components for Volvo road cars.

ipd''s recipe for this year''s SEMA show takes an already potent 220 horsepower (European-spec engine) turbocharged powertrain and massages it to nearly 400 horsepower with software upgrades and a belt-driven supercharger. Next, throw in a leading-edge mobile electronics package conceived by Alpine and Apple with native i-Tunes technology. Blend with the curvaceous body on fully adjustable coil over suspension, sexy alloys and hot, sticky rubber. Sprinkle in a big brake package that makes stopping as fun as accelerating. Wrap it all in a wild Swedish flag themed paint and interior and you’ve got ipd’s C30 SEMA Concept

Infiniti QX56 Leads Motorist Choice Awards

PRIMEDIA’s Intellichoice.com, in conjunction with owner satisfaction specialists AutoPacific, announced that the Infiniti QX56 outscored all vehicles rated across all classes in the inaugural “2006 Motorist’s Choice Awards.” The QX56’s index of 737 led all models, topping the next highest ranked vehicle in the four classes (Cars, Sport Utility, Trucks and Minivans) by eight index points.

According to information issued by the two automotive study authorities, “IntelliChoice.com and AutoPacific created the Motorist’s Choice Awards to determine the vehicles that delivered both the highest satisfaction and lowest cost of ownership. The collaboration between the two respected firms, who have each been authorities on the U.S. auto market for the last 20 years, takes selected owner satisfaction data from AutoPacific’s surveys of new car and light truck
buyers and combines it with IntelliChoice.com’s rating methodology to create a new measurement that speaks to both the hearts and minds of car buyers.”

“Infiniti is clearly pleased that the Infiniti QX56 has been singled out yet again for its desirability,” said Mark Igo, vice president and general manager of Infiniti. “We’re also proud that its low cost of ownership is also being recognized.”

The Motorist’s Choice survey was composed of 45 different vehicle ownership attributes, 38 of which were product-focused and seven of which were cost-ownership-focused. The two sets of data were put through conversion formulas that differentiated excellence across class and the individual product- and cost-ownership scores. They were then weighted to reflect motorist-perceived importance.

Finally, the two sets of converted scores were multiplied by their respective weighting and the resulting figures were added together for a final index.

All-New 2007 Nissan Sentra Launches with Breakthrough Marketing Idea

Inspired by the research photos taken inside the cars of hundreds of 20-30 year olds, the all-new 2007 Nissan Sentra will debut this month in an unprecedented marketing campaign. The research demonstrated that young people use their car as if it were another room in their home – filled with gym clothes, sports equipment, music (in all delivery forms), food and ways to communicate with the outside world.

“7 Days in a Sentra” is the simple but ingenious notion that will be translated into television
commercials, webisodes, online executions and a special 2-minute piece – take one man, the 2007 Nissan Sentra and a challenge to actually live in the car for seven full days and be filmed doing it. Tapping into a number of pop culture trends (episodic story-telling, real life adventures, blogging and vlogging), Nissan casts the campaign in a whole new light.

“With this approach, we’re moving away from ‘interrupting’ our consumers and toward creating opportunities to interact with them. I think we also transition from story telling to conversation,” said Jan Thompson, Nissan’s vice president of marketing. “The integrated marketing campaign will showcase the all-new Sentra in an innovative way across many communication channels.”

Thompson noted that all 168 hours of film shot over the real seven day experiment (shot in and around Los Angeles) were designed to showcase the Nissan Sentra’s new features including:

· Roomy, high quality interior with long list of available amenities, including a 60/40 split double-fold rear seat, available hidden trunk storage compartment and available integrated overhead compact disc holder.
· Multiple AM/FM/CD audio systems available, including RDS, mp3 playback, satellite radio and auxiliary input capability (variations by model)
· Available Intelligent Key keyless entry system and available Bluetooth™ Hands-Free Phone System
“We also showcase Sentra’s smooth ride and fuel efficiency in vignettes that are both funny and surprising,” Thompson added. “And no stunt drivers were employed!”

Nissan selected Marc Horowitz, a photographer’s assistant and San Francisco native, to be the central character of the campaign. While the storyline depicts a young man living out of his new Sentra for seven consecutive days as an experiment to see if the Sentra lives up to its promises, Marc’s experience was anything but fictional.

In addition to living out of the Sentra, Marc had to adhere to a challenging list of ‘rules’ that created the framework for the experiment, including:

· Must live 7 straight days out of the Sentra. I am free to come and go from the Sentra.
· Must not return to his apartment at any point during the 7 days.
· Must assume his normal day-to-day responsibilities, including work and scheduled meetings.
· Must personally prepare at least 4 meals within the immediate vicinity of the Sentra.
· Must go on at least one date. Hopefully more.
· Must not let anyone else drive his car during the 7 days.
· Must sleep in a different location each night. Once the location is chosen he must not move.
· Must not set foot outside of the car for any reason from 12am – 5am.
· Must host at least one “social function” in the Sentra.
· Must maintain the highest standards of personal hygiene.

“This was an amazing experience for me,” said Horowitz. “I got to meet really amazing people, and I got to drive the Sentra, which really is a great car. And who knew there were so many places in LA where you can get a good shower for free?”

The “7 Days in a Sentra” campaign includes the following components:
· Seven (7) traditional :30 national TV spots - one for each day Marc lives in the car
· A “NissanUSA.com/7days” website will allow visitors to see the campaign, including long-form pieces
· A blog written by Marc which will document his experience during his 7 days in the Sentra. The blog will include Marc’s journal entries from the week, photos, a long form piece and many viral, short-form films
· A personalized MySpace page by Marc
· Street teams with interactive AdVans in 7 key markets centered around the 7 days concept
· A short documentary film which will be cut to be shown both on the web as well as part of TiVo’s Showcase lineup

Along with the 2007 Nissan Altima and Versa, the Sentra is being launched under the Next Generation Shift_2.0 campaign.

Creative is handled by Nissan’s agency, TBWA/Chiat/Day, based in Playa del Rey, California. Other agencies involved in the campaign include OMD, TEQUILA, The Vidal Partnership, Edelman and The Designory.

2007 Nissan Altima Hybrid Debuts

The all-new 2007 Nissan Altima Hybrid, Nissan’s first entry into the hybrid gasoline/electric vehicle segment, makes its North American debut at the 2007 Model Orange County Auto Show in Anaheim, California, October 4 – 8, 2006.

The new Altima Hybrid offers all the style, convenience, comfort, quality feel and performance technology features and highlights of the next-generation 2007 Altima – while offering the added benefits of enhanced fuel economy and reduced emissions.

The Altima Hybrid’s powertrain mates the 2.5-liter 4-cylinder engine and electronic Continuously
Variable Transmission (eCVT) with an electric motor and generator that increases fuel economy while maintaining low tailpipe emissions. The Altima Hybrid’s hybrid system is rated at a net power of 198 horsepower (148 kW), with fuel economy estimated at 41 mpg City/36 mpg Highway.

Classified as an Advanced Technology-Partial Zero Emissions Vehicle (AT-PZEV), the new Altima Hybrid will be available in eight states. The vehicle has been certified to meet California emissions requirements and will be sold beginning in early 2007 in those states that have adopted California emissions regulations: California, New York, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Vermont, Rhode Island, Maine and New Jersey. These states are among the strongest markets for hybrid vehicles.

The 2007 Altima Hybrid will be available in early 2007, following the November 2006 introduction of the 2007 Altima 2.5-liter 4-cylinder and 3.5-liter V6 gasoline-powered models.

Daihatsu Move fully redesigned

Daihatsu announced the launch in Japan of the fully redesigned Mini vehicle MOVE on October 5.

The redesigned Daihatsu Move has been completely updated from the platform to the engine and developed with the aim of evolving on a new level that transcends its class. Two models have been created, the MOVE, based on the concept of "my energetic and versatile," and the Daihatsu Move Custom, which is based on the concept of "quality and mobile amenity."

The new Daihatsu Move offers the following features:
1) New styling that effects dramatic change to a refined and dynamic silhouette;
2) Advanced packaging that creates the longest cabin length and width in a Mini vehicle;
3) A high-quality interior that provides a relaxing feel like that of a lounge;
4) Enhanced vehicle performance achieved through the combination of cutting-edge technologies;

- A KF-VE type non-turbo engine and a Continuously Variable Transmission (CVT) provide superior acceleration performance and high fuel efficiency of 23km/liter
- High-quality, comfortable ride and remarkable cabin quietness
- All vehicles fitted with the KF-VE type engine qualify for incentives under the Japanese government''s "green" taxation system that provides incentives to owners of both of low emission and low pollution vehicles.
- Advanced preventive safety features realize high safety performance levels
5) Features such as door mirrors that are linked to the reverse gear realize a high level of utility that make you want to drive the MOVE.

Plans call for sales of 12,000 units per month in Japan. The manufacturer''s suggested retail prices range from 970,000 yen to 1,595,000 yen (excluding consumption tax).

Chevy HHR Panel Delivers Style, Function And Fun In A New, Segment-Exclusive Configuration

The 2007 HHR Panel, designed for a myriad commercial and private uses, adds a new dimension of functionality to the popular HHR’s lineup of stylish, efficient vehicles.

The HHR Panel features windowless side panels and rear cargo doors in place of conventional rear doors. A flat load floor provides more than 57 cubic feet (1,614 L) of cargo space, along with approximately 6 cubic feet (170 L) of additional covered, under-floor storage.

“The HHR Panel is a model unlike anything else in the segment, and it continues HHR’s mission of offering customers a bold, expressive, functional and different vehicle,” said Ed Peper, Chevrolet general manager. “It’s great for delivery companies and other small businesses, but we think auto enthusiasts will love it too, as it gives them a large canvas on which to express their individuality.”

HHR Panel production is expected to start late in the first quarter of 2007. It will be offered in LS and LT trims, with 2.2L and 2.4L engines – both of which help the HHR deliver 30 mpg in highway driving.

HHR Panel is available in LS and LT trim. Both models come with a fuel-efficient 2.2L engine rated at 149 horsepower (111 kW). The LT model offers a 2.4L engine rated at 175 horsepower (130 kW). With either engine, the HHR is rated at 30 mph in highway driving and can provide up to 450 miles of cruising range on a tank of gas.

Power front seats, a family of radios with MP3 capability, XM Satellite Radio and OnStar are available on both LS and LT models. LT models also offer 17-inch wheels and leather-appointed seating.

Standard safety features include dual-stage frontal air bags with GM’s Passenger Sensing System. This system works with the front passenger Seat and differentiates between adults – 5 th percentile females and larger – and small children or child seats to adjust air bag deployment. Head curtain side-impact air bags are available.

OnStar with Turn-by-Turn Navigation is available on the HHR Panel, enhancing its value as a courier or delivery-type vehicle. OnStar Turn-by-Turn provides verbal instructions to assist the driver with right- and left-hand turn directions; and it establishes a new route if the driver needs to get back on track, for example, if a freeway exit is missed.

Since its launch, HHR has received five-star crash ratings – the highest rating awarded by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s (NHTSA) New Car Assessment Program. The five-star ratings were awarded for the driver and right-front passenger in a frontal crash, as well as five-star side-impact crash ratings for front Seat and rear Seat passengers. The HHR also was the highest-rated SUV for the 2006 model year in NHTSA rollover testing.

Chevrolet is America''s No. 1-selling automotive brand. With the largest dealer network in the United States , Chevy is the leader in full-size trucks and the leader in sales of vehicles priced $35,000 and above. Chevrolet delivers more-than-expected value in every vehicle category, offering cars and trucks priced from $9,995 to $78,175. Chevy delivers expressive design, spirited performance and great value with standard features usually found only on more expensive vehicles

2007 Mercury Mariner Hybrid

The Mercury Mariner Hybrid is a key component of Ford Motor Company’s commitment to building a better world. Mariner Hybrid combines the spaciousness, style and functionality of the Mercury Mariner with the ultraclean emissions and impressive fuel economy of a gas-electric vehicle.

Configured as a full hybrid, Mercury Mariner Hybrid can travel up to 25 miles per hour (mph) solely with clean electric power, as the 2.3-liter gasoline engine automatically shuts down to conserve fuel and curb emissions. When more power is required, the gasoline engine and the electric traction motor team up to deliver comparable acceleration performance to the conventional Mariner powered by a 3.0-liter Duratec V-6.

As a result, Mercury Mariner Hybrid delivers an impressive 32 miles per gallon in the city and 29
mpg on the highway. In addition, the vehicle meets the rigorous Advanced Technology Partial Zero Emissions Vehicle (AT-PZEV) emissions standard in California and in other states that have adopted California’s emissions standards.

This combination of style, fuel efficiency, utility and clean emissions earned the Mercury Mariner Hybrid the Green Car Journal Green Car of the Year award for 2006, the journal’s first such award.

For the 2007 model year, two new exterior colors are available — Tungsten Grey Clearcoat Metallic and Light Sage Clearcoat Metallic — along with two feature packages that combine interior comfort, safety and convenience features.

Mercury Mariner includes: four-wheel ABS; electric power-assisted steering; hybrid powertrain system; intelligent 4WD; auto-dimming rearview mirror; remote keyless entry; tire pressure monitoring system; fog lamps; AM/FM, six-disc CD player with MP3 capability; message center; leather-wrapped steering wheel with speed control; unique center panel finish with Sappele wood; 16-inch aluminum wheels and tires; Personal Safety System® and power group (power windows with one-touch-down driver window, locks and mirrors with accessory delay).

Options include: Audiophile audio system with six-disc CD player and MP3 capability, power moonroof, safety package, premium package and Hybrid Energy Audio and Navigation System.

2007 Mercedes-Benz CL-Class Makes U.S. Debut

The All-New 2007 CL-Class is making its U.S. debut at the South Florida International Auto Show, open to the public October 6 - 15 at the Miami Beach Convention Center in Miami Beach. The CL makes a bold design statement for the Mercedes-Benz brand -- futuristic with cues from legendary Mercedes coupes of the past. A unique two-door premium coupe design based on a modified S-Class sedan platform, the CL features astonishingly good looks, with a delicate yet dynamic roofline, unusual reverse-tapered rear roof pillars and a wrap-around rear window.

The Next-Generation CL Coupe Lineup

The next-generation 2007 CL-Class coupe debuts at the end of 2006 with a CL550 model, powered by an all-new 5.5-liter V8 engine delivering 382 horsepower and 391 lb.-ft. of torque, part
of a new V8 engine family featuring four-valve-per-cylinder technology and variable valve timing. The new CL550 also comes with the Mercedes-Benz seven-speed automatic transmission and Direct Select electronic shift control.

Soon after launch, the CL550 is joined by a V12-powered model -- the exclusive CL600. Powered by a twin-turbo V12 engine that generates 510 horsepower and an overwhelming 612 lbs.-ft. of torque, the new CL600 model blends whisper-smooth performance with the astonishing power of a twin-turbo V12 engine. The 60-degree V12 engine provides effortless thrust with turbine- like smoothness, featuring a vast torque band with peak torque beginning as low as 1,800 rpm.

With its high-tech engine, Direct Select five-speed transmission and state-of-the art aerodynamics, the new CL600 can reach 60 miles per hour in less than 4.5 seconds, quicker than many out-and-out sports cars. To handle the torque of the V12 engine, the transmission planetary gear sets have been beefed up accordingly.